Consumer safety is a top priority in Denmark. Major elements in safeguarding consumer safety are the establishment of efficient food safety measures in the legislation and organising efficient control provisions and inspection systems.
To protect against any BSE-risk in Danish bovine, sheep and goat products, severe precautions have been taken.
To prevent the risk of infecting the national herd, the use of meat and bone meal from ruminants was banned in 1990, and in January 1997 the use of mammalian meat and bone meal was banned in feeding stuffs for ruminants.
In this context, it should be underlined that at least 95% of all cattle in Denmark are slaughtered in slaughterhouses, which only slaughter bovine animals born and raised in Denmark. To control the origin, all imported animals must be earmarked with tag-colours different from animals of Danish origin.
The traceability system in the cattle sector is very well developed in Denmark. All animal movements from farm to farm are registered in The Central Husbandry Register, and meat can be traced back to the farm.
Furthermore, the slaughterhouses and cutting plants have traceability systems in place, which enable the origin of the meat to be followed throughout the production.
From 28 February 2000, new slaughtering procedures were implemented in all Danish slaughterhouses by ordering the compulsory removal of specified risk material (SRM) from cattle, goats and sheep slaughtered in Denmark. All meat and meat products marketed since 28 February 2000 have been produced according to the new procedures.
Precautions have been taken to ensure that no SRM enters the food or feed chain again. The SRM is transported to a special treatment plant and disposed by incineration.
These slaughtering procedures effectively protect the consumer against risk of contamination from Danish bovine products. Thus, Danish bovine products can be assumed to be as safe as ever.
At the request of the authorities in importing countries, the veterinary and food authorities in Denmark may issue appropriate certificates.
For further information on the above items, please contact the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.